Rhett Miller talks about hearing the voice of God in Brandi Carlile on the XPN New Music Show - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Rhett Miller | Photo by Jason Quigley | Via Facebook.com/rhettmillermusic

With a new album on the way this winter with his band Old 97s, XPN fave Rhett Miller stopped by the XPN New Music Show this week to chat with host Mike Vasilikos about the new album — particularly it’s gripping lead single, written in collaboration with Brandi Carlile.

“Good With God” has ominous, heavy existential vibes, and Vasilikos told Miller that it got him thinking about his own mortality. Miller then shared a story about how a tour stop in Salt Lake City while the 97s were on a run in support of Most Messed Up inspired it. The lead character has a conversation with a higher power who, he says, turns out to be a woman.

Which lead to Carlile working with him as a co-writer. “Hollywood for years has lived off of male writers for female parts and most of the time they don’t ring true,” Miller said, adding that the idea had him wondering “Who has a voice that could do justice to being God?”

He thought back to a tribute show to Johnny Cash where he first heard Carlile — her voice stopped him (and Kris Kristofferson) dead in their tracks and drew them in. Miller reached out to her, and the collaboration was born.

We listen to the song and also hear Miller and Vasilikos discuss the new record, Graveyard Whistling, which also features co-writes and collabs with Butch Walker, Caitlin Rose, Nicole Atkins, and more. It was also recorded in the same studio on the outskirts of El Paso where the band recorded their 1997 breakout record Too Far To Care.

“It doesn’t sound like Too Far to Care, necessarily,” Miller says. “But it sounds like the same band that made that record.”

Listen to the interview in full below. Graveyard Whistling is out February 24th on ATO Records.

Rhett Miller chats with Mike Vasilikos on the XPN New Music Show
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